The Last Gladiators (Documentary)

FILE - In this Nov. 4, 2010, file photo, Philadelphia Flyers' Jody Shelley, left, and New York Rangers' Derek Boogaard fight during an NHL hockey game in Philadelphia. Boogaard suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain ailment related to Alzheimer's disease that is caused by repeated blows to the head, the New York Times reported. The 28-year-old Boogaard, who died in May of an accidental overdose of alcohol and oxycodone, was found to have had CTE _ which can be diagnosed only after the death of the patient, according to the third story of an extensive three-part series on Boogaard posted on the newspaper's website Monday night, Dec. 5, 2011. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)

As part of my sociology module, we watched a video on Chris Nilan and his experience playing in the NHL. A really good story of a player who had to play the typical ‘thug type’ brawler who was only used to literally knock people out. After working with his coach, he practiced and tried the best to be able to play the game properly. This he described as difficult, “Those who stop fighting don’t last long, so I kept on fighting”. This is a great documentary that shows the issues surrounding sport of Hockey, and sport in general. This was at a time when NHL was known for absolute brawling, fans just wanted to see the fighting. This highlights the issues surrounding just what athletes are required to sell of themselves in order to progress within sport as an institution.

What are the real consequences of sport? Who wins in the end? What is the real cost and who pays the price? Is sport a reflection of an underlying social need for violence? These are interesting questions and change the whole dynamic of my views on sport.

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